“The work that these remarkable journalists do brings to light the dark corners of our globe,” said Judy Woodruff of the PBS News Hour, IWMF Courage in Journalism Awards chair. “They risk everything, including their livelihoods, their safety and the safety of their families, to unearth the truth and enlighten us all.”
Vicky Ntetema, 51, a freelance Tanzanian reporter who contributes to the BBC World Service. Ntetema uncovered one of her country’s horrible secrets when she began to investigate the brutal killings of albinos and their families. Working undercover, she learned that witchdoctors were murdering albinos to dismember their bodies and sell potions made out of their hair, legs and arms. Customers were told the potions would bring them good fortune. Witchdoctors are especially dangerous because they hold powerful positions in African traditional society, often use hired killers and are protected by local police. Ntetema has received death threats since she started her reporting. She has twice left Tanzania for her safety. She now reports wearing hijab to disguise her identity and often travels with a security guard. According to the BBC, some 170 witchdoctors have been arrested for the killings.
The IWMF Courage in Journalism Awards honor women journalists who have shown extraordinary strength of character and integrity while reporting the news under dangerous or difficult circumstances. The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a woman journalist who has a pioneering spirit and whose determination has paved the way for women in the news media. Including this year’s honorees, 69 journalists have won Courage Awards and 19 journalists have been honored with Lifetime Achievement Awards. The awards will be presented at ceremonies in New York on October 19 and in Los Angeles on October 21.
Founded in 1990 and now celebrating its 20th Anniversary, the International Women’s Media Foundation is a vibrant global network dedicated to strengthening the role of women in the news media worldwide as a means to further freedom of the press. The IWMF network includes women and men in the media in more than 130 countries worldwide. For more information, visit www.iwmf.org.
News credit: APA & International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF)